3 Ways to get Affordable Artwork that will Make your Home Look Curated
(plus how to print and frame them!)
(This post contains affiliate links which means I receive a small compensation at no cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. You can read more about it here. Thank you for supporting my blog!)
Framed artwork is one of the best ways to elevate the spaces in your home. You can add one large piece for drama or a gallery wall for some interest (build your own art ledge with my DIY Art Ledge tutorial!) . If you don’t know where to look for affordable art you can easily rack up a large bill while filling your walls!
Luckily, buying art online has become super accessible and there are so many great sites that sell digital and physical art at great prices! And you can print and frame them without even leaving the house! Very convenient for this world we’re living in.
Below, I’ve rounded up my three favorite ways to get art prints for your home- without maxing out your credit card!
1. Buy Directly from an Artist
Social media makes it so easy to find new artists we like. You can find them through tags from design influencers you follow or even just through your explore page. Buying directly from an artist is my favorite way to get affordable artwork for my home because it supports the people who create, directly. I also feel so much more connected to a piece in my house when I follow the artist on social media. It’s like showing off a good friend’s work.
Prices will vary by artist, art size and medium but most offer an affordable print option versus buying an original piece. Bonus points if you find an artist who sells Giclée prints! Giclée (pronounced Gee-clay) sounds fancy but it’s actually just a precise way to reproduce digital images with an inkjet printer. These prints are typically paired with premium pigment inks and a heavy stock, archival paper. This results in a super high quality reproduction of the original work.
Here are some of my favorite artists to buy directly from:
2. Digital Downloads
Digital downloads are one of the fastest ways to fill your home with affordable artwork since you can download your file instantaneously!
The first (and free!) way to get this art is by finding vintage art downloads from art galleries and museums. This is called Open Access or Public Domain art.
Open Access: Once 100 years has passed since the death of an artist, their artwork becomes public domain. This means it’s free for the public to download, print and display the art. You can even use that art to sell prints commercially! This is why you see so many of the same popular vintage artwork at big stores like Target, Walmart and Ikea!
There are many galleries and museums that have Open Access websites where you can search and download high resolution vintage art, but get ready to spend some time! These websites have hundreds of thousands of files and it can be time consuming to sort through and find your perfect piece. Here are a few of the sites that I find to be the most user friendly and have had the best luck:
Digital Downloads (Part II)
Don’t worry! I know you’re busy and not everyone has the time (or the eye) to sort through museum websites! I personally find it easiest to get my digital download prints on Etsy where there’s thousands of affordable options. I’m talking as low as $1 for a file! You can search for exactly what you’re looking for- art style, color palette, subject… even the most popular vintage pieces from the Public Domain are sold on Etsy. It’s really easy to find the perfect piece of art for your home quickly and it won’t break the bank!
Here are some digital downloads you might be interested in:
How to Print your Digital Art
Personal printers have come a long way in the last 10 years and most models can easily print out quality digital prints! However, if you’re like me and haven’t been able to pull the trigger on a printer purchase, or if your printer is almost old enough to be a part of the Public Domain- you still have options!
You can go to any big box print shop to print your digital art- this includes places like Fedex, Office Max, or Staples. These companies’ websites are pretty user friendly, the turnaround is quick and the prints are decently affordable. Additionally, this is a great option if you want a larger print than your at-home printer can manage.
To really take your digital art up a notch, you can get it printed by a professional print shop that offers giclée printing. You can probably find a local shop in your area, but the beauty of digital artwork is that you can send your file to an online print shop as soon as you buy it and have it shipped to you pretty quickly. Here are the two online print shops I’ve used for printing that were both quick and affordable:
3. DIY Art
This wouldn’t be a DIY blog without telling you that you can easily DIY your own art! There are so many ways to make your own art so don’t be scared if you’re not artistically inclined. I’m not, and I can do it, so can you! The last picture in this list is art I painted on the back of the stock Ikea frame images. I quickly used leftover paint to make these abstract DIY pieces in about 10 minutes. I was pressed for time to photograph my DIY Shiplap fireplace and I didn’t want empty frames in the photos. They’ve now been up for over a year (whoops!) but I get compliments on them all the time!
Here’s a list of some great tutorials to make your own DIY art:
How to Frame your Art
Don’t worry, I won’t leave you hanging (Get it?!) All jokes aside, if you’ve previously had trouble finding affordable frames to hang artwork in your home- here’s your solution! You don’t need to use expensive framing services or send your prints to a framing website that I’ve found can be as high as $80+ for an 8×10 frame! That price point is not attainable if you’re decorating your first home and need a lot of new frames- and a couch- and a refrigerator!!
It’s pretty easy to find inexpensive frames- even good quality ones! Go to stores like HomeGoods, Target and Ikea and you’ll find a great selection of frames in all sort of sizes and styles. And don’t just stick to the frames section. Go to the artwork and sales sections as well and you’re sure to find some great frames! Then, all that’s left is replacing the stock art with your own! And if that’s not working out for you- you could always make your own frames!
Gone are the days of having boring, cookie cutter decor on the walls in your home (I’m looking at you, “Live, Laugh, Love” sign!). You now have all the tools to curate the best and most affordable art for your home! Share your wall decor with me on Instagram @what.bb.built!